Context is the slings and arrows of working in the food service industry.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My stepfather’s grandson’s wedding is black-tie optional, and my stepfather’s children are renting him a tux. My mom, who is 90, thought she would wear a nice pants outfit with a dressy jacket, and is resistant to buying something new. She has been through a lot this year (treatment for lymphoma, cancer surgery, and she recently fell and broke her pelvis, so she is in a lot of pain).
I and my three sisters (my mom’s only children) live on the opposite coast, but we are now being pressured by the mother of the groom (my stepfather’s daughter) and my stepfather to see that she is outfitted appropriately -- not just for the wedding, but also for the rehearsal dinner (cocktail attire) and the wedding breakfast to be held the day after the wedding.
They have also expressed concerns about the shoes my mother prefers (very safe, comfortable, but not at all dressy). My sister even heard my stepfather tell her that if she doesn’t get something new to wear, she can stay home and not attend the wedding or other events.
My mother doesn’t stand up for herself, unfortunately. Two of us will be traveling to see her soon, and plan to take her shopping. My sister is even purchasing a few things for my mom that she will bring with her, in the hopes that maybe something will fit and work for this event.
Personally, I think it is extremely superficial of them to dictate what she wears (especially since the wedding is six months from now!). If it were me, I would just be thrilled they are both well enough to attend, regardless of how they are dressed.
Is my mother wrong to resist the request to buy something more formal? Or should the step-family back off?
GENTLE READER: What happened to the “optional” part?
While Miss Manners always advocates dressing properly for the occasion -- and generally abhors “optional,” as it just invites chaos -- the particulars of your mother’s dress seem to be unduly fixated upon here. There is certainly a lot of undue angst being put into this poor woman’s wardrobe that seemingly requires three separate outfits and uncomfortable, possibly dangerous, shoes.
If your mother can reasonably be jollied into the shopping expedition or accepts one of your sister’s choices for one new outfit, fine. But if not, please talk to your stepfather about “backing off.” Surely this cannot really be worth all of this fuss.
separated by billions of miles, light travelling years
to die in the back of an eye.
Is there a vocabulary for this—one to make dailiness amplify
and not diminish wonder?
I have been so careless with the words I already have.
I don’t remember how to say home
in my first language, or lonely, or light.
I remember only
delam barat tang shodeh, I miss you,
and shab bekheir, goodnight.
How is school going, Kaveh-joon?
Delam barat tang shodeh.
Are you still drinking?
For so long every step I’ve taken
has been from one tongue to another.
To order the world:
I need, you need, he/she/it needs.
The rest, left to a hungry jackal
in the back of my brain.
Right now our moon looks like a pale cabbage rose.
Delam barat tang shodeh.
We are forever folding into the night.
Banded demoiselle perched on the roof of the woodshed. The toddler was delighted.
We get these damselflies as well as dragonflies flitting through our canal-side garden every year, but they don’t often stop and say hello.
I needed a 32 inch cable for a magic loop project. I don't have them specifically noted in lengths (I probably should, but there are a lot of things I should probably do), so when eyeballing failed, I took the cable most likely to be 32 inches long, and held it from fingertip to armpit.
Success! It was just a hair longer than fingertip to armpit, which meant that it was 32 inches.
I used this method, as this is how you determine how long your baton needs to be. It has to match your armspan, otherwise it won't work correctly. My armspan is 31 inches long, which meant I was That Twirler. (95% of twirlers clock in with a 29 inch baton, which means if you're doing exchange work, a 31 inch baton throws everyone off. I had a secondary baton for exactly that reason and hated it with an undying passion.)
But yes. Strange benefits I hadn't been expecting, much less half a decade on since I finished twirling.
[Macro image of a female brimstone butterfly sitting on a green leaf, with lovely veined and spotted green wing underside on display.]
I am thrilled to have taken this photo. Brimstones visit our garden every summer, but I've never seen one actually have a lengthy rest in it, let alone allow me to get this close with my giant macro lens and pap it repeatedly.
I wander, sell beer, happen to meet you.
Good jars don't mean good brew.
Clothes well-mended are better than ill-sewn.
Bad beer soon sends you home.
A torn shirt when mended will become new.
Em di ban ruou tinh co gap anh.
Rudu ngon chang quan be sanh,
Ao rach kheo va hon lanh vung may.
Rudu lat uong lam cung say,
Ao rach co mun, va may lay lanh.
That I may prompt them: and of such as have,
I humbly pray them to admit the excuse
Of time, of numbers and due course of things,
Which cannot in their huge and proper life
Be here presented. Now we bear the king
Toward Calais: grant him there; there seen,
Heave him away upon your winged thoughts
Athwart the sea. Behold, the English beach
Pales in the flood with men, with wives and boys,
Whose shouts and claps out-voice the deep mouth'd sea,
Which like a mighty whiffler 'fore the king
Seems to prepare his way: so let him land,
And solemnly see him set on to London.
So swift a pace hath thought that even now
You may imagine him upon Blackheath;
Where that his lords desire him to have borne
His bruised helmet and his bended sword
Before him through the city: he forbids it,
Being free from vainness and self-glorious pride;
Giving full trophy, signal and ostent
Quite from himself to God. But now behold,
In the quick forge and working-house of thought,
How London doth pour out her citizens!
The mayor and all his brethren in best sort,
Like to the senators of the antique Rome,
With the plebeians swarming at their heels,
Go forth and fetch their conquering Caesar in:
As, by a lower but loving likelihood,"
DEAR GOING: Marriages of convenience have been happening since the institution of marriage was invented. That said, however, this is a question you should address to a lawyer to make sure that if you decide to marry Brian, you'll be going to the chapel instead of going to the hoosegow for insurance fraud.